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Can you help me with my software licensing question?

Looking at the Win2k8 licensing page here and it appears to me that if I want to have a server to accept Remote Desktop Connections from say 30 users concurrently, I would require:

  • Windows 2008 Server License &
  • Windows 2008 CAL

Is this correct logic? Or would I require RDS CALs instead? Or would I actually require RDS CALs on top of that?

From what I can gather the RDS CALs are only required if I was to use the additional RDS services like App-V, etc.

This question may have been answered here before but just wanted to clarify.

Can anyone help?

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marked as duplicate by Iain Jan 27 '12 at 17:26

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

up vote 2 down vote accepted


While SF can give you a decent idea, and more often than not a very good answer, the best place to ask these types of questions is to ask you licensing representative from Microsoft.

You'll need to get the Server license (to license the server software), The server CALs(To license user connections to the server) and also the RDS CALs (to license more than 2 concurrent connections. ) What you have by default are the remote admin licenses (2 concurrent connections) to get more than that you'll need to get the RDS CALs.

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Understand the disclaimer and will check through official sources... but from what you're saying, I would probably require 30 Server CALS + 30 RDS CALs? – g8keepa82 May 18 '10 at 0:22
@g8keepa82: Yes you would need the Server CALs anyway (although we have an EA that gets proved up once a year so I'm pretty far removed from thinking about Server CALs) – Zypher May 18 '10 at 0:45
Carefull with the server CAL - there are a great many scenarios you do not need them, for example when you arelady have them. Server CAL's can be assigned to a server or a workstation - and if assigned to a workstation, are valid for all servers the workstation connects to. Ergo it may already have a server CAL. – TomTom May 18 '10 at 5:43

The windows license model is pretty simple. You can get an overview here. You most certainly do need to purchase RDS CALS if you are running an RDS server. You can use the microsoft license advisor to determine which cals are required for each product. RDS and windows rights mangement are additional product cals not included in either the core cal or enterprise cal suites. For additional information see the licensing FAQ: What is the difference between a Windows Server CAL and a Remote Desktop Services (RDS) CAL?

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